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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Today had something really bizarre happen. I changed my front tires and flipped my front brake pads doing everything perfect. But when I started the car up to go for a test drive I had the “Christmas tree of death” CEL light show! Almost every CEL possible was flashing on the dash and the car was stuck in limp mode. I couldn’t figure out what I could have done to cause it . Luckily it was about 4 PM and I had enough time to run to my dealership the tech was still there hooked up the code reader and found out was just time to change the oil in the torque vectoring differential. He wasn’t sure if it was one year that caused it or a certain amount of hours that the differential was hot ( I think he said 8 hours that doesn’t mean how long the warning light was on, just that the time the oil was hot and it even had a degree reading ) . I have had the car for about 9 months and have 7000 miles on. I’m guessing it was the time that the differential was hot because I have tracked the car about 14 times. As you know if you drive the car hard or if you drift it a lot it will send a TVD warning light and reduce power to let the torque vectoring differential cool down (even though you really have to actually stop and turn off the car for a second to make the light go off after it’s cooled down some).
So it wasn’t that the car was pushed too hard or anything it just reached the time for the oil to be changed in it. I thought that was great that it keeps track of things like that and lets you know it’s time to change the oil In it, but the way it lets you know is crazy and in typical Italian fashion! Why didn’t I just get an exact problem error message come up saying it was time to do it instead of setting off every CEL light possible?
Anyway my tech reset the light and the timer for it so next time I go in for an oil change they will change the differential oil also.
 

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Yikes! Good thing that didn't happen during a track day! I'd be pissed if I was out there having a great time and it went limp on me.( I swear that's never happened before) Only to find out later that it was just the diff. Of course, I haven't tracked mine yet. :p

That does seem a bit excessive for "hey, its time to change the diff oil"...but what do I know
 

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A simple "change rear differential fluid" notice in the cluster would suffice but no of course it's acting like the car is eating itself.
 

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Which DTC codes were active? The one signaling the need for a differential oil change (C2633-68) should not be supposed to throw a CEL nor to trigger limp mode. Sounds like perhaps you had C2657-68 or C2658-68, which trigger when wear limits are reached on the clutch packs?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Which DTC codes were active? The one signaling the need for a differential oil change (C2633-68) should not be supposed to throw a CEL nor to trigger limp mode. Sounds like perhaps you had C2657-68 or C2658-68, which trigger when wear limits are reached on the clutch packs?
I have an inexpensive code reader and no codes at all were found and also I could not erase the codes.
No the code was exactly what I said as I went to the dealership and the head tech hooked it up with the official expensive Alfa code reader and all it was was the differential oil was at the time to be changed. He reset the timer and all was well. I’m sure if there were other codes he would’ve seen them and told me about them. He’s very good and very thorough.
I will say it was odd how the Christmas tree Of death CEL lights came on rather than just giving me a notice! Perhaps it was because I took off the front tires and disconnected the front brake pad wiring and turned the wheel left and right with no brake pads in them that caused it to behave that way. Electronics are weird if you do the right combination sometimes things work differently than they’re supposed to. Certainly seems like there should be a warning light that says it’s close to the time to change the differential oil so that you can take it to the dealership before it goes into limp mode. But again maybe it was the combination of electronic signals that made it do it the way it did because the instant I started the car after taking off the wheels and flipping the brake pads and turning the wheel as I said, I I got all those CEL lights. Anyway I drove the car quite a bit and it’s fine now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
hence all the testing stories of "car went into limp mode"

it's just protecting itself from over exuberant (ab)use.
It being simply the time to change the oil is not abuse! Unless you think this car is not built to be tracked. That’s why I bought the QV model.
But yes all these electronic protections do protect the cars and that’s a pretty good thing because in the old days they would just break. But it can be a fine line. I think the Alfa system is pretty darn good especially for a new platform. I have 7000 miles on mine now with no problems other than glove box that had to be replaced and just what just happened and was easily fixed. And I’m not sure anyone is going to want post anything more about their car problems if they are going to be accused of abusing their car simply for tracking it.
Recently I saw a show it was either top speed or The grand tour where they had three different SUVs (Stelvio, Cayman and maybe it was the new Lamborghini SUV anyway and they took them on some simple gravel tracks and quickly each one of them had CEL lights come on making them all go into limp mode.
 

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ahh, I was referring to testers, who might run them repeatedly without a break, give em to the next guy to do the same, the car is figuring out how many times the diff has been run hot, and the next guy they hand it off to for a torture test complains and writes stories when it limps after one lap or something, ignoring the reality that the thing has been flogged without a break by everyone who can get their hands on a fast car they don't have to repair or maintain.
of course AR should realize this and do a full service between testers, but scheduling etc ...
 

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"grand tour where they had 3 different suvs" macan, evoque, and stelvio.

no it wasn't the gravel that killed them, it was street tires spinning in over six inches of loam, done intentionally I expect, to show that horses barrel race better than cars? the show was an excercise in absurdity.
they didn't take the alfa on gravel, because they needed a hitch to destroy the boats, and it didn't have one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Update!
So when my car had the CEL Christmas tree of death light show now I don’t think it had anything to do with the torque vectoring differential oil being at the time to be changed. That is just something that it is at the time to do and has nothing to do with the light show. I think the coincidence confused my tech because it is turning out to be an odd rare problem.
Recently it happened a second time and the only thing in common was I jacked up the front tires and changed or flipped the front brake pads and then jacked up the rear wheels and did the same with the rear wheels without driving the car in between changing the pads. Also when I disconnected the battery cable I noticed there is a light that comes up that says it’s time to change the differential oil along with all the other lights that come on when you do that but they all go out on their own shortly afterwards when driving.
Sounds crazy I know. And we’re not really sure why it happens but it’s only happened twice.
A few times I have done only the front pads without any problem at all. Just seems when I do brake pads at both ends of the car at the same time I get this CEL light show that will not go away and it goes into limp mode and I have to take to the dealer to clear the lights.
Maybe it is something about jacking up both ends of the car and putting them at an angle instead of being flat on a lift. Maybe I’m setting off some anti-theft device thing or something. My tech says he has to spend some time on it.
FYI I have had no other CEL lights come up in the 7,000 miles I have driven it and I have tracked the car hard many times too.
Most all drivers would never have this happen yet because the brakes normally will last a long time. But because when I track the car hard it wears out the brake pads in as little as 3-4 track days front and about 7-8 track days rear. So I have changed the pads several times already.
If I have to do both ends for brake pads I’m going to try doing one end of the car at a time and then taking the car out for a short drive and then doing the other end to see if that keeps it from happening.
Something weird. Not sure if it’s my car specific or not but kind of depressing that Alfa let’s this happen. But with a new platform you’ve got to expect some things like this I guess
 

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Really odd.

It seems like when the QV has an issue it is something software/computer related. Have not heard much about mechanical issues (knock on wood).
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Ok the manager of Les Schwab who was changing my tires when we had the first light show go off told me today what sounds like possible reason, the electronic key fob was in the car while we were working on it.

We surmise that because I left the key fob in the car when the brake wires were off while we were changing the brake pads and because the car is always communicating with the key fob, that this key fob communication might have caused it. So with with the brake wires off and/or the car jacked up at angles and possibly because we turned on the ignition to turn the wheel that the key fob electronics might have been the cause.

He says they normally keep the key fobs about 30 feet away from the cars when they work on them. But because I was there and I left the key in the car without telling him we think this might of been the cause.
 

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he time that the differential was hot because I have tracked
Today had something really bizarre happen. I changed my front tires and flipped my front brake pads doing everything perfect. But when I started the car up to go for a test drive I had the “Christmas tree of death” CEL light show! Almost every CEL possible was flashing on the dash and the car was stuck in limp mode. I couldn’t figure out what I could have done to cause it . Luckily it was about 4 PM and I had enough time to run to my dealership the tech was still there hooked up the code reader and found out was just time to change the oil in the torque vectoring differential. He wasn’t sure if it was one year that caused it or a certain amount of hours that the differential was hot ( I think he said 8 hours that doesn’t mean how long the warning light was on, just that the time the oil was hot and it even had a degree reading ) . I have had the car for about 9 months and have 7000 miles on. I’m guessing it was the time that the differential was hot because I have tracked the car about 14 times. As you know if you drive the car hard or if you drift it a lot it will send a TVD warning light and reduce power to let the torque vectoring differential cool down (even though you really have to actually stop and turn off the car for a second to make the light go off after it’s cooled down some).
So it wasn’t that the car was pushed too hard or anything it just reached the time for the oil to be changed in it. I thought that was great that it keeps track of things like that and lets you know it’s time to change the oil In it, but the way it lets you know is crazy and in typical Italian fashion! Why didn’t I just get an exact problem error message come up saying it was time to do it instead of setting off every CEL light possible?
Anyway my tech reset the light and the timer for it so next time I go in for an oil change they will change the differential oil also.
I was playing around in MES and apparently the ECU (ABS module in MES) does track when the oil needs to be changed in the torque vectoring differential. I'll have to go and reset mine since I just did it.
 
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